Graphic novels offer an astonishing range of determined protagonists—from plucky mermaids to apocalypse survivors—battling creepy villains that include the walking dead. Indigenous teenagers, a Mars private eye, and a special counsel appear in genre works recently reviewed by Kirkus Indie.

Warren Hammond and Joshua Viola’s Denver Moon: Metamorphosis, which earned a Kirkus Star, focuses on a chilling case of robocide on Mars. Denver, a private investigator, hunts for clues and ends up at Blevin’s Mine, where a dangerous figure from her past seeks retribution. According to our reviewer, “the skilled, perpetually poised detective shines brightly” in this SF tale while Aaron Lovett’s “exemplary artwork makes the white-haired Japanese heroine look both formidable and chic.”

Two Indigenous Canadian teens plan to work on a school project in Tasha Spillett’s Surviving the City, illustrated by Natasha Donovan. But Dez, an Inninew, worries that her diabetic grandmother may need to have her foot removed. Late one day, Dez visits a park alone and curls up on a bench after her cellphone dies. Illustrated by Natasha Donovan, the YA tale tackles the problem of “Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People.” The “engrossing” story “remains a tribute to the missing and murdered and a clarion call to everyone else,” our critic writes.

In The Mueller Report Graphic Novel,author/illustrator Barbara Slate provides excerpts of the Russia investigation’s findings and cartoonish images of the key players, including Vladimir Putin. Conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller, the probe looked at Moscow’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election. The Mueller Report finally came out in April 2019. The novel’s highlights include Donald Trump’s quirky tweets, Russian spies on Facebook, and a notorious meeting in Trump Tower. Our reviewer calls the book “a well-crafted visual depiction” of the report’s “troubling contents.”

Myra Forsberg is an Indie editor.